Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. Psychologists explore phenomena such as cognition, behaviour, emotion, language, learning, memory, development, and brain-behaviour relations, among many others. And just like people in every other discipline, psychologists strive to expand their field of knowledge to benefit the world. What effect do the different kinds of billboards we see while driving have on road rage? How do our brains handle memory, attention, and perception? How do war, terrorism, and natural disaster affect the organization of autobiographical memory? How do dreams influence our waking thoughts and feelings? How does language function as a component of one's identity? These and countless other questions are waiting to be answered. With the knowledge gained by exploring these mysteries, psychologists gain the ability to create practical applications that can enhance our human experience.
Psychology permeates all areas of our lives, and the ways in which it can be explored and applied are vast. Understanding psychology enables us to be open-minded and creative, and it provides opportunities for us to broaden our perspectives, challenge what we take for granted, and enrich our frameworks for understanding the world. In essence, psychology is a field for those who are passionate about understanding the mind and behaviour from a scientific perspective, and for those who yearn for the opportunity to learn and work in a highly diverse, collaborative, and interdisciplinary field. By the end of their program, students in psychology acquire the ability to understand different facets of psychology, to think critically using psychological perspectives, and to map their views of the human psyche.
Useful information about what psychologists do and about studying psychology is provided by:
- In her address on What Leaders Need to Know during the 2015 Brian Harder Conference, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, Canada's 19th Prime Minister and Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, described the value of psychological research for understanding and informing leadership
- The Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) explained, in 2012, why Psychological Science Is Important